The 2017 Primetime Emmy Awards were surprising in both that they were not surprising (in a good way) and they did a great job of giving out awards to people who absolutely deserved them. That wasn’t particularly hard, though, since this year’s crop of nominees were so strong. There were some delights like San Junipero finding love in the TV movie category, and DC public schools getting a shout out not only from Dave Chappelle but also from double winner John Oliver. On the not-so-great side, politics where very heavily intertwined in the broadcast, sometimes to horrendous effect (more on that below).
HBO was the big winner of the night with 29 awards (thanks to John Oliver, Veep, The Night Of, and most especially Big Little Lies — even in a year without Game of Thrones, they did very well). Netflix scored 20 awards, including Best Supporting Actor for John Lithgow (The Crown) and the aforementioned San Junipero. But it was shutout in the biggest categories, where Hulu took home 10 awards including Best Drama and Best Actress in a Drama for The Handmaid’s Tale. NBC returned to some broadcast dominance with 15 awards, thanks in part to This Is Us. FX, who was a big winner in 2016, won a small sum of 6 awards, including two for Donald Glover and Atlanta. But FX’s high-profile limited series like Fargo and Feud were shutout when up against Big Little Lies, which proved to be one of the evening’s juggernauts with 8 awards. The Handmaid’s Tale also garnered 8 awards, though both were bested, ultimately, by Saturday Night Live’s 9 trophies. It’s worth noting that for individual achievements, Julia Louis-Dreyfus is on her 8th Emmy — tying Cloris Leachman.
There is a lot to unpack from the broadcast, so let’s keep it simple — below are some of the best and worst moments from the 2017 Emmys, and one in between; you can go here for the full list of winners: